Supervised injection rooms are legally sanctioned facilities where people who use intravenous drugs can inject pre-obtained drugs under medical supervision. Supervised injection facilities are designed to reduce the health and societal problems associated with injection drug use. These facilities now operate in dozens of cities abroad and in Canada and have been shown to reduce injection-related risks and harms like vein damage, overdose, and transmission of diseases like HIV/AIDS and hepatitis C. No such facilities currently exist in the United States, but the Drug Policy Alliance is advocating for supervised injection pilot programs in San Francisco and New York City. We are working to expand the national dialogue on drug control to include policies and programs that mitigate the harms of drug use without mandating abstinence.
Members of the Affected Community, International Experts, Treatment Providers, State Leaders and Physicians Gather to Discuss Opioid Use, Harm Reduction Strategies, Overdose Prevention, Supervised Injection Facilities, Heroin Assisted Treatment and Best Practices From Around the World
Daylong Symposium to be Held at Denver’s History Colorado Center, Thursday, March 5, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Denver, CO – The Drug Policy Alliance, Harm Reduction Action Center and the Center for Public Health Practice will convene stakeholders to deliberate on the current impact of opioids and more effective responses to opioid use and dependency in Colorado. The Opioid Symposium is a daylong event on Thursday, March 5th at the History Colorado Center in Denver.
Global Commission on Drug Policy
This report reflects a new evolution in the thinking of the Global Commission, which includes Kofi Annan, Richard Branson, and the former presidents of Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Poland, Portugal and Switzerland. They not only reiterate their demands for decriminalization, alternatives to incarceration, and greater emphasis on public health approaches – but now also call for responsible legal regulation of currently-illegal drugs.
There is an extensive body of literature documenting the stigma associated with alcohol and other drug problems. No physical or psychiatric condition is more associated with social disapproval and discrimination than substance dependence. For people who use drugs, or are recovering from problematic drug use, stigma can be a barrier to a wide range of opportunities and rights.
Drug Policy Alliance, American Civil Liberties Union
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) represents a remarkable opportunity for criminal justice and drug policy reform advocates to advance efforts to enact policy changes that promote safe and healthy communities, without excessively relying on criminal justice solutions that have become so prevalent under the war on drugs, and which fall so disproportionately on low-income communities and communities of color.
The American Public Health Association (APHA) conference in San Francisco next week showcases a controversial public health intervention for people who inject drugs. Supervised injection facilities (SIFs) are an effective public health intervention where people can inject drugs using sterile equipment and with medical supervision, but none currently operate in the United States because of political and legal barriers. A model SIF will be on display in the APHA Exhibit Hall and will be available for media tours.
Supervised injection facilities (SIFs) are controlled health care settings where people can more safely inject drugs under clinical supervision and receive health care, counseling and referrals to health and social services, including drug treatment. There is overwhelming evidence that SIFs are effective in reducing new HIV infections, overdose deaths and public nuisance – and that they do not increase drug use or criminal activity. There are currently 92 such facilities operating in 62 cities around the world – but none in the U.S.
The U.S. refuses to adopt an evidence-based HIV/AIDS prevention strategy, costing us hundreds of thousands of lives and hundreds of millions of dollars. However, in countries where addiction is treated as a health issue, the fight against HIV/AIDS is being won. Newly diagnosed HIV infections in many countries have been nearly eliminated among people who use drugs, just as mother-to-child transmission of HIV has been eliminated in countries that make medicines for pregnant women accessible.
Landmark Report Released in Advance of 2012 World AIDS Conference in Washington, DC
Global Commission Calls for Drug Decriminalization and Expansion of Proven, Cost-Effective Solutions to Reduce HIV/AIDS – Including Sterile Syringe Access, Safer Injection Facilities, and Prescription Heroin Programs
While Some Countries Have Virtually Eliminated Drug-Related HIV Transmissions, Drug War Policies in U.S., Russia, Thailand and China Cause Millions of Needless Infections and AIDS Deaths
Today, the Global Commission on Drug Policy will release a groundbreaking report at a press conference in London followed by a worldwide teleconference. The report condemns the drug war as a failure and recommends immediate, major reforms of the global drug prohibition regime to halt the spread of HIV infection and other drug war harms.
The report is being released in advance of the International AIDS Conference, the world’s largest gathering of HIV/AIDS experts. It will be held in the U. S. for the first time in 22 years this July 22-27, in Washington DC.
New Mexico Leads Nation in Fatal Drug Overdoses, More than Two Times the National Average; Overdose Deaths Now Outnumber Traffic Fatalities
(Santa Fe) – Tonight, a memorial requesting a study to enhance and expand New Mexico’s harm reduction programs, including overdose prevention, sailed through the State Senate with unanimous support on both sides of the aisle. Senate Memorial 45, sponsored by Senator R. Martinez (representing Rio Arriba, Los Alamos and Santa Fe counties), passed with a vote of 43-0 and requests the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Center for Health Policy at the University of New Mexico to conduct the study. The New Mexico Public Health Association endorsed Senate Memorial 45.